Report: Fernando Tatis Jr. Situation Has Been 'Building for Weeks' amid Padres' Slump

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 20, 2021

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 18:  Manny Machado #13 and Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres exchange words in the dugout during the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on September 18, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Jeff Curry/Getty Images

Fernando Tatis Jr.'s dugout blowout with Manny Machado was reportedly a long time coming.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the situation had been percolating "for weeks," with some veterans in the clubhouse growing frustrated with Tatis' "brooding" as the team falls out of playoff contention.

Machado was shown needing to be held back in the dugout as he screamed at Tatis after the shortstop-outfielder argued a fifth-inning strikeout. While Tatis was not tossed for the incident, manager Jayce Tingler came out of the dugout to protect Tatis and was tossed.

"It's not viewed negatively," Tingler said. "We're a family. We're not going to discuss the details, but we care. There's passion. There's frustration. Those are all emotions that are natural, and those things happen."

Acee's report said the incident confirmed the suspicion of some in the organization who feel Tingler "does not possess the sway" to command respect from the team. Tingler is in his second season as Padres manager, his first time leading a ballclub.

Padres third-base coach Bobby Dickerson was the first person to approach Tatis over his attitude Saturday. Acee reported Tatis became "incensed" at the admonishment from the coach, with Machado attempting to stand in because of his own bouts of immaturity in the past.

Ken Rosenthal, Dennis Lin and Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic reported the situation was evidence of a "leadership void" in the Padres clubhouse. Tatis' emotions are said to greatly impact the team, whereas Machado has become "preoccupied with matters beyond his control."

The Padres' late-season swoon, combined with tensions in the clubhouse, could spell doom for Tingler despite posting a winning record in each of his two seasons with the franchise. It's possible the team looks for a veteran presence who can command respect from a talented but seemingly moody team. 

Dickerson is also on the hot seat amid "growing finger-pointing within the organization."